October 6, 2014

Marijuana Arrests Still Increasing In 17 States

October 6, 2014
asset forfeiture marijuana arrest

asset forfeiture marijuana arrestMarijuana arrests have plummeted in Washington State and Colorado since they legalized marijuana. If/when Oregon, Alaska, and Washington D.C. legalize marijuana next month, I’d expect marijuana arrests to drop there as well. However, while many states are seeing a decrease in marijuana arrests due to legalization or decriminalization, there are still many states that are seeing an increase in marijuana arrests. Per the Huffington Post:

While marijuana arrests have been decreasing in many states, in two-thirds of the states actually, in 17 states marijuana arrest rates have been increasing by at least an average of 1% annually from 2008 to 2012. Of these 17 jurisdictions, 12 had an annual increase greater than 2% and 8 greater than 3% per year. Collectively they account for 28.8% of the population of the United States and 44.6% of the arrests for marijuana offenses.

These states and their annual average increases are South Carolina (11.6%), Washington, DC* (7.7%) South Dakota (7.7%), North Dakota (5.5%), Utah (4.5%), Illinois* (4.3%), Montana (3.5%), Idaho (3.2%), Virginia (2.6%), New York (2.4%), New Jersey (2,4%), Oregon (2.1%), Tennessee (1.7%), Wisconsin (1.2%), Vermont (1%), Michigan (1%), and West Virginia (1%). (*The Washington, DC and Illinois data are for the period 2008 to 2011.)

Those marijuana arrest numbers break my heart. No one should ever be arrested for a plant that is safer than alcohol. No jail bed should ever be occupied by someone that has been arrested for marijuana instead of the jail bed being reserved for a violent criminal. It’s time every state took a new approach to marijuana laws.


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